Hit Parade

Rock ’n Soul Edition

Hall and Oates took a decade to find their sound, created their own ’80s genre, and made their dreams come true.


Episode Notes

Daryl Hall and John Oates: Their songs were earworms, their videos cheap and goofy. John Oates’ mustache and Daryl Hall’s mullet are relics of their time. And … for about five years, their crazy streak on the pop charts was comparable to Elvis, the Beatles, and the Bee Gees.

They were also more cutting-edge than you may realize, essentially inventing their own form of cross-racial new wave after spending the ’70s trying everything: rock, R&B, folk, funk, even disco. At their Imperial peak in the early ’80s, Hall and Oates commanded the pop, soul, and dance charts while still getting played on rock stations. And decades later, when the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ignored them, it was Black artists—rappers and soul fans—who pushed them in.

Join Chris Molanphy for a dissection of the Philly duo who invented “rock ’n soul” and made their dreams come true.

Podcast production by Asha Saluja.


About the Show

Chris Molanphy, a pop-chart analyst and author of Slate’s “Why Is This Song No. 1?” series, tells tales from a half-century of chart history. Through storytelling, trivia, and song snippets, Chris dissects how that song you love—or hate—dominated the airwaves, made its way to the top of the charts, and shaped your memories forever.

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  • Chris Molanphy is a feature writer and critic who writes widely about music and the pop charts.